The Rams take on a Leicester side comfortably in the play-off places as they seek to get three home points and edge closer to Championship survival. The sides shared the spoils in a dour 0-0 draw earlier in the season at The Walkers Stadium, but with The Rams attacking well at home in recent weeks, and with defensive mistakes creeping back into play, another bore draw is surely not on the cards.
Rams defender and midweek goalscorer Shaun Barker is confident of picking up three points as The Foxes come to town: ‘It is a big game, and I really do fancy us against anyone at Pride Park,’ Barker told dcfc.co.uk.
‘We did well against Leicester back in October and we were solid against them down there.
‘Leicester are a good side and it will be a tough test for us as they are in the promotion mix.
‘Fingers crossed we can get the win and three points we have needed in recent weeks.
‘If we get the win it will give us some breathing space; they would be welcomed with open arms.’
City’s assistant manager Craig Shakespeare acknowledges the feisty nature of derby games, but insists his side keep their heads on Saturday: ‘Yes it’s a local derby, but we’ve got to play with our heads as well as our hearts. We’ll be a picking a team to go out and win the game and it should be an interesting afternoon.’
He also says that injuries have played a part in Derby’s campaign: ‘Nigel will be the first to admit that they’ve had a stop start season in terms of injuries, and new personnel settling in. With the quality they’ve got on their staff they’d certainly hope to be a bit higher up the league.’
Derby County Team News:
Nigel Clough may name an unchanged team after his side drew 1-1 with QPR. Nicky Hunt and Gilles Sunu both came under fire from the manager so he may choose to replace them with Dean Leacock and Gery Teale respectively. Polish striker Tomasz Cywka will be in the squad after joining from Wigan until the end of the season.
Player to watch: Shaun Barker
Barker keeps getting better and better and will need to retain his high performance levels to deal with The Foxes’ front line.
Leicester City Team News:
Defenders Bruno Berner and Alex Bruce will miss the clash with calf and groin problems respectively. Wayne Brown is trying to displace Jack Hobbs and Michael Morrison after recovering from a hamstring injury. On-loan Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing is looking for a start after making his debut as a substitute against Reading.
Player to watch: Martyn Waghorn
On-loan Sunderland striker Waghorn has been in excellent form and he is a very powerful player with excellent upper body strength.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
QPR (a) 1-1
Sheffield Wednesday (a) 0-0
Doncaster Rovers (a) 1-2
Reading (a) 1-4
Last 5: Leicester City
Reading (h) 1-2
Coventry City (h) 2-2
Crystal Palace (a) 1-0
Cardiff City (h) 1-0
Sheffield Wednesday (a) 0-2
Coventry City vs. Derby County, Saturday 3 April 2010 15:00, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship